FYI September 17, 2017


1809 – Peace between Sweden and Russia in the Finnish War; the territory that will become Finland is ceded to Russia by the Treaty of Fredrikshamn.
The Treaty of Fredrikshamn or the Treaty of Hamina (Finnish: Haminan rauha, Swedish: Freden i Fredrikshamn) was a peace treaty concluded between Sweden and Russia on 17 September 1809. The treaty concluded the Finnish War and was signed in the Finnish town of Hamina (Swedish: Fredrikshamn). Russia was represented by Nikolai Rumyantsev and David Alopaeus (Russian ambassador to Stockholm), while Sweden by Infantry General Kurt von Stedingk (former Swedish ambassador to Petersburg) and Colonel Anders Fredrik Skjöldebrand.[1]

According to the treaty Sweden ceded parts of the provinces Lappland and Västerbotten (east of Tornio River and Muonio River), Åland, and all provinces east thereof. The ceded territories came to constitute the Grand Duchy of Finland, to which also the Russian 18th century conquests of Karelia, including small parts of Nyland and Savonia (later to be called Old Finland), were joined in 1812 as Viborg County. Together with the Diet of Porvoo (1809), and the Oath of the Sovereign [1], the Treaty of Fredrikshamn constitutes the cornerstone for the autonomous Grand Duchy, its own administration and institutions, and thereby a start of the development which would lead to the revival of Finnish culture, to equal position of the Finnish language, and ultimately in 1917 to Finland’s independence.

A reference to Emperor Alexander’s promise to retain old laws and privileges in Finland was included, but the treaty overstepped any formal guarantees of the legal position of Finland’s inhabitants. The Russians refused, and the Swedes were not in a position to insist. Similar clauses had been common in peace treaties, but they were also regularly circumvented. At the period of Russification of Finland, 90 years later, the Russian government argued that the treaty wasn’t violated and hence no outside party had any right to intervene, the question being solely a matter of the emperor who had granted the original promise. During the negotiations, Swedish representatives had namely endeavoured to escape the loss of the Åland islands, “the fore-posts of Stockholm,” as Napoleon rightly described them. The Åland islands were culturally, ethnically and linguistically purely Swedish, but such facts were of no significance at that time. In the course of the 19th century it would also turn out that the Åland islands were a British interest, which after the Crimean War led to the demilitarization of the islands according to the Åland Convention included in the Treaty of Paris (1856). During the Second War against Napoleon, Russia and Sweden concluded an alliance directed against Imperial France (5 April 1812). They planned to effect a landing in Swedish Pomerania, which had been overrun by the French. Russia promised to press Denmark into ceding Norway to Sweden. It was understood that Great Britain would join the treaty too, however, this never came to pass. Other plans failed to materialise due to Napoleon’s invasion of Russia.

 
 
 
 


1867 – Vera Yevstafievna Popova, Russian chemist (d. 1896)
Vera Yevstafievna Popova, née Vera Bogdanovskaya (Вера Евстафьевна Попова; 17 September 1867 – 8 May 1896) was a Russian chemist. She was one of the first female chemists in Russia,[3] and the first Russian female author of a chemistry textbook.[4] She “probably became the first woman to die in the cause of chemistry” as a result of an explosion in her laboratory.[5]

Early life and education
Vera Bogdanovskaya was born in 1868 in Saint Petersburg. Her father, Evstafy Ivanovich Bogdanovsky, was a professor of surgery. Her parents arranged for their three children to be educated at home. In 1878, she began studying at the Smolny Institute at the age of 11. Starting in 1883 she spent four years at the Bestuzhev Courses and after this she worked for two years in laboratories at the Academy of Sciences and the Military Surgical Academy. In 1889 Bogdanovskaya left Russia for Switzerland, where she undertook a doctorate in chemistry at the University of Geneva. She defended her research into dibenzyl ketone in 1892.[1] Bogdanovskaya wanted to work on H-C≡P (methylidynephosphane), but had been persuaded to concentrate instead on dibenzyl ketone by her doctoral supervisor, Professor Carl Gräbe.[5] She also worked with Dr Philippe Auguste Guye in Geneva, who was working on stereochemistry.[2]

Career
Bogdanovskaya returned to Saint Petersburg in 1892 to work at the Bestuzhev Courses, where she taught chemistry. This was an institution founded in 1878 to encourage Russian women to stay in Russia to study. She was working as an assistant to Prof. L’vov teaching the first courses in stereochemistry. Her reputation as a lecturer and her knowledge of teaching enabled her to write her first book, a textbook on basic chemistry.[4] She wrote reviews, translated academic papers on chemistry and, together with her professor, published the works of Alexander Butlerov, who had died in 1886.[1] Between 1891 and 1894, she published a number of papers based on her doctoral thesis.

She was not just a chemist; she was also interested in entomology, writing and languages. In 1889, she published a description of work with bees. Bogdanovskaya published her own short stories, as well as her translations of the French short story writer Guy de Maupassant.[1]

Personal life

Bogdanovskaya left Saint Petersburg and married General Jacob Kozmich Popov in 1895. He was older than she and a director of a military steel plant, and she demanded that he build her a laboratory where she could continue her chemistry.[5] They lived in Izhevskii Zavod, a town under military control that was dedicated to weapon manufacture.[1] It has been suggested that her marriage may have been one of convenience, as it was known that Russian women sometimes married just to escape the conventions of society.[2]

Death
Popova died on 8 May 1896 (Gregorian calendar; 26 April in the Julian Calendar),[1][2] (the date is sometimes given as 1897 in English sources) as a result of an explosion which occurred while she was attempting to synthesize H-C≡P (methylidynephosphane), a chemical similar to hydrogen cyanide.[5] She was 28.

Aftermath
H-C≡P, the chemical that she was trying to synthesize at the time of her death, was not successfully created until 1961 from phosphine and carbon.[6] It is extremely pyrophoric and polymerizes easily at temperatures above −120 °C. Its triple point is −124 °C and it burns spontaneously even at low temperatures when exposed to air.[6]

Legacy
Popova was given a substantial tribute in the Journal of the Russian Physical Chemical Society.[7] A shorter obituary appeared in the journal Nature[8] and a brief notice in the American journal Science.[9] One report by the chemist Vladimir Ipatieff suggested that she may have been poisoned by her experiment or have committed suicide, but this view was not supported by other reports.[2]

Her early death led to a fund being created in her memory by her husband to assist female students.[citation needed] Her portrait was also displayed at the Women’s College where she had trained.[citation needed]

Popova is credited with classifying dibenzyl ketone. This laid the foundation for synthetic acrylic resins created from acetone cyanohydrin.[1]

 
 
 
 

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